Thursday, 14 December 2017

Can Fragrance Give Back This Christmas?

Christmas is the time for giving and receiving, but how about expanding that to “giving back”? The fragrance industry makes upwards of 20% of their annual income from the festive season, with some hitting 30%, and most Christmas trees this year will have a bottle of the latest Chanel, a Guerlain classic, a Jo Malone original or even something from one of the independent perfumeries nestled underneath it. Imagine the difference that we could make if for every bottle of perfume you purchase you also made a donation of just £1 to Shelter. How can we ensure that our fragranced frivolity truly makes a difference this year?

The routine of spritzing on a fragrance before we leave our house is a common occurrence up and down the country. We want to feel glamorous, we want to feel confident, we want to “be” the celebrity in the advert, the list is endless. Without that spritz of fragrance we would still be able to function, we would still be able to do our jobs, we would still be able to attract a partner, we would still have our dignity. However, with the addition of that cloud of perfume we all smell and feel fabulous.

Homelessness is still thought of by many as a social problem that can be ignored just by raising your eye line or looking the other way, but it is all around us and, unbelievably for a “developed” country, is increasing. Shelter has estimated that 307,000 people are sleeping rough, which is an increase of 13,000 in the last year, and these figures are conservative. The numbers include those in temporary housing and hostels but doesn’t account for those that have simply dropped off the system. Can you just for one moment imagine how you would cope sleeping on the streets on Christmas Eve?

The reasons for homelessness are numerous and the misconception that “they” have “chosen” to live on the streets is still one that you will hear talked about on a daily basis. Homelessness is a downward spiral and, just as we become accustomed to our comfortable surroundings, so do those that have to live like this on a daily basis. It becomes the norm. Pride also plays a large part. One of my friends became homeless and I didn’t find out until AFTER he had managed to get back into a normal life. He said that he had felt too ashamed to contact me. Would I have felt the same way?

So, I hope that you’re not reading this thinking, “he’s put a real downer on my Christmas”. I hope that you are thinking, “what’s £1 when I’ve just spent £90 on a bottle of perfume?” Shelter needs our help this Christmas and so do all of those that have found themselves in a situation that none of us would willingly swap with. If you visit the Shelter website you can specify the amount that you would like to donate and it really can start from as little as £1.

To give what you can this Christmas please visit shelter.org.uk and help to give others less fortunate a gift that could change their lives.

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